Developer tools company JetBrains and remote development provider Gitpod have co-developed tools which integrate the JetBrains IDEs, such as IntelliJ IDEA, PyCharm and PHPStorm, with Gitpod’s platform.
Gitpod already supports Visual Studio Code (VS Code), running either in the browser or on the desktop. According to Gitpod’s post, “the number one feature request of our larger customers is to connect their locally running JetBrains IDEs to automated Gitpod workspaces running in the cloud.”
The new integration is a plug-in for JetBrains Gateway, which connects the local desktop to remote development environments. Compilation, indexing and language processing happens on the remote machine.
The local IDE is a thin client separate from any local installs of JetBrains IDEs. “The downloaded thin client will exactly match the IDE running in your Gitpod workspace,” according to Gitpod’s explanation. Earlier this month, JetBrains also added tools to Gateway that monitor CPU, memory and disk usage on the remote machine.
JetBrains developer advocate Matt Ellis said that the benefits of remote development include the ability to use a well specified remote machine from any location, security of source code, and the ability to spin up ephemeral development environments.
Remote Development has come to the fore recently. Microsoft-owned GitHub is gradually rolling out its Codespaces feature, currently available for Team and Enterprise plans and in beta for individuals, while GitPod’s offering is now well established. JetBrains competes with VSCode, just as GitPod competes with Codespaces.
Internet payment company Stripe explained recently why it embraced remote coding, saying that remote environments were easier to manage and configure and remove the need for local setup by the developer.
A JetBrains spokesperson was keen to emphasise that GitPod is only one of several options. ” JetBrains Gateway … is not tied to any particular orchestration provider,” we were told, though “Gitpod is the first third-party vendor to provide integration and support for our tools on such a level.”
According to JetBrains, “the collaboration is broader than promoting our tools, as we are promoting remote development as an approach.”